LORENZO DI CREDI
(b. ca. 1459, Firenze, d. 1537, Firenze)
Adoration of the Shepherdsc. 1510
Oil on wood, 224 x 196 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
The painting shows meticulous draftsmanship and technical perfection, but is totally devoid of any dramatic force, the artist having eclectically assimilated influences from other artists - Perugino, Verrocchio and even Leonardo himself. The inspiration from the Adoration of Hugo van der Goes is also evident.
The absence of any emotional involvement may be due to the fact that at the end of his life Lorenzo di Credi was a disciple of Savonarola. The figures in his paintings, as in this case, have serious, meditative expressions, are charged with an inner gloom which the painter mitigates only with that small amount of grace allowed in the church ceremony.
Only one angel, standing, seems to be engaged in reasoning with a companion on the mysteries of the Birth. St Joseph, leaning on his staff, looks wistfully at the scene, and a shepherd holding a lamb looks to be distracted by something else.